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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 146231
Last updated: 20 November 2017
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Time:14:27 CDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R
Owner/operator:Family Celebrations LLC
Registration: N174BH
C/n / msn: 31-7612038
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Aircraft missing
Location:near Two Harbors, 30 miles NE of Duluth, Minnestoa -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:South St. Paul Municipal Airport/Richard E. Fleming Field, Minnesota (
Destination airport:South St. Paul Municipal Airport/Richard E. Fleming Field, Minnesota (
On June 8, 2012, about 13:07 CDT (Central Daylight Time), a Piper PA-31-325, N174BH, departed from the South St Paul Municipal Airport-Richard E Fleming Field (KSGS), South St Paul, Minnesota for a maintenance test flight. The airplane reportedly had one of its two engines replaced and the pilot was to fly for about 4 hours to break-in the engine. The airplane did not return from the flight and was reported overdue. The airplane is missing and is presumed to have crashed. The airline transport pilot - the sole person on board - has not been located, and is posted as "missing believed killed". The airplane was registered to Family Celebrations LLC, and was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed SGS with the intention of returning to SGS at the conclusion of the flight.

The airplane was reported missing and an alert notification issued about 22:25 CDT. The last reported contact with the airplane and pilot was about 13:00 CST when the fixed base operator at SGS towed the airplane to the fuel pumps. When he returned about 15 minutes later, the airplane was no longer there. Aircraft radar track data from various ground based sources indicated that the airplane departed SGS about 13:07 CST.

The airplane maneuvered east of SGS before turning toward the north. The airplane's track continued north toward Duluth, Minnesota. Once the airplane reached Duluth, it followed the west shoreline of Lake Superior. Radar track data indicated that the airplane was at a pressure altitude of 2,800 feet when it reached the shoreline. The airplane continued along the west shoreline toward Two Harbors, Minnesota, flying over the water while maintaining a distance of about 0.5 miles from the shore. As the airplane approached Two Harbors, it descended. The airplane's last recorded position at 14:27 CDT was about 30 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota, at an uncorrected pressure altitude of 1,600 feet.

The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center coordinated a search for the missing airplane. The Civil Air Patrol, United States Coast Guard, and other entities participated in the search efforts. Search efforts were suspended on July 4, 2012.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: Undetermined because the airplane was not found.


1. NTSB Identification: CEN12FAMS1 at
2. FAA:
4. (photo)

Revision history:

10-Jun-2012 12:27 gerard57 Added
10-Jun-2012 13:45 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
21-Oct-2017 22:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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